Otto Valdemar Malling (1 June 1848 – 5 October 1915) was a Danish composer, from 1900 the cathedral organist in Copenhagen and from 1889 professor, then from 1899 Director of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen. He was born in Copenhagen, and became a pupil of Niels Gade and Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann. in his later career he mainly composed organ works and vocal music, but he also wrote a significant amount of orchestral music, as well a substantial cantata "Der hellige Land", and a symphony in D minor. He was a co-founder and vice-conductor of The Concert Society, Copenhagen (1874), supporting himself as organist at various Copenhagen churches. His scores of organ music brought Malling some reputation abroad, but after his death he was soon forgotten in his native country.
"Die heiligen drei Könige" (The Three Holy Kings) was published by William Hansen in 1907. It tells the complete story of the Epiphany, beginning with Christmas night and ending with the Three Kings journeying back to their homes.
All the dramatic scenes and events are covered in these seven movements, and I think all are well worth the listen.
Over the next few days and culminating on January 6th, I'll be uploading the complete "suite."
The 2nd movement, "Where is the King of the Jews?" continues the saga, first quiet and expressive, followed by "question" that becomes more and more emphatic, until the King's audience with Herod becomes a clashing uproar! High drama, which gradually melts away to quiet, uncertain searching for the King of the Jews.
The uniqueness of Malling's harmony is present. There is some dark and mysterious about it, even exotic. It seems to be something of a "Danish modality" combined with the more usual writings of late German romantic music.
I hope you make the entire journey with me over the course of the next few days!
I felt the Armley Schultze was an excellent match for the music.
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Otto Malling!